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Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 15-07: Confusion

1999 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Dave T Hobbit
Welcome to the year's seventh

For those of you that are unfamiliar with HOES, here's how it works:

Each month, there will be a thread posted in the Original Works forum for that month's HOES competition. For those of you interested in entering, read the entry requirements, write a story that fits the chosen theme and post it as a reply to the competition thread by the deadline given. Each and every member of Heresy Online is more than welcome to compete, whether your entry is your first post or your thousandth. We welcome everyone to join the family of the Fan Fiction Forum.

Once the deadline has passed, a separate voting thread will be posted, where the readers and writers can post their votes for the top three stories. Points will be awarded (3 points for 1st, 2 for 2nd, and 1 for 3rd) for each vote cast, totalled at the closure of the voting window, and a winner will be announced. The winner will have his/her story added to the Winning HOES thread and be awarded the Lexicanum's Crest award for Fiction excellence!


The idea with the theme is that it should serve as the inspiration for your stories rather than a constraint. While creative thinking is most certainly encouraged, the theme should still be relevant to your finished story. The chosen theme can be applied within the WH40K, WHF, HH, and even your own completely original works (though keep in mind, this IS a Warhammer forum) but there will be no bias as to which setting is used for your story.

As far as the theme goes, please feel free with future competitions to contact me with your ideas/proposals, especially given that my creative juices may flow a bit differently than yours. All I ask is that you PM me your ideas rather than posting them into the official competition entry/voting threads to keep posts there relevant to the current competition.

Word Count

The official word count for this competition will be 1,000 words. There will be a 10% allowance in this limit, essentially giving you a 900-1,100 word range with which to tell your tale. This is non-negotiable. This is an Expeditious Story competition, not an Epic Story nor an Infinitesimal Story competition. If you are going to go over or under the 900-1,100 word limit, you need to rework your story. It is not fair to the other entrants if one does not abide by the rules. If you cannot, feel free to PM me with what you have and I'll give suggestions or ideas as to how to broaden or shorten your story.

Each entry must have a word count posted with it. Expect a reasonably cordial PM from me (and likely some responses in the competition thread) if you fail to adhere to this rule. The word count can be annotated either at the beginning or ending of your story, and does not need to include your title.

Without further ado...

The theme for this month's competition is:


Entries should be posted in this thread, along with any comments that the readers may want to give (and comments on stories are certainly encouraged in both the competition and voting threads!) 40K, 30K, WHF, and original universes are all permitted (please note, this excludes topics such as Halo, Star Wars, Forgotten Realms, or any other non-original and non-Warhammer settings). Keep in mind, comments are more than welcome! If you catch grammar or spelling errors, the writers are all more than free to edit their piece up until the close of the competition, and that final work will be the one considered for voting. Sharing your thoughts with the writers as they come up with their works is a great way to help us, as a FanFiction community, grow as a whole.

The deadline for entries is Midnight GMT, 31 August 2015
. Remember, getting your story submitted on 22nd will be just as considered by others as one submitted on 11th! Take as much time as you need to work on your piece! Any entries submitted past the deadline will not be considered in the competition, regardless of whether the voting thread is posted or not.

Additional Incentive
If simply being victorious over your comrades is not enough to possess you to write a story, there will be rep rewards granted to those that participate in the HOES Challenge.

Participation - 1 reputation points, everyone will receive this
3rd place - 2 reputation points
2nd place - 3 reputation points
1st place - 4 reputation points and Lexicanum's Crest

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in this thread.

Without further nonsense from me, let the writing begin!

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Realm Bound
Word Count: 921​

The mortal blow landed on Erathion’s shoulder blade before he could even blink. The monomolecular teeth of the chain-axe shorn through his chest. He collapsed into the chaotic melee that involved his comrades from the Shrine of the Coiled Serpent and the blood-lusting World Eaters without a cry. The Striking Scorpion lay on the battlefield, in the arid plains of Aretica, and began to wither into darkness. The world grew into varying shades of shadow as his life blood pumped from the fatal wound. He felt his soul slip away into the void.

His spirit stone was destroyed.

I am undone. I have spent the last hours of my life in service to Khaine and the last living god: the Laughing One. The die is now cast. Fate allow my soul to go wherever it wills.

Erathion’s eyes grew large in horror in his final breaths. A great wound rent itself in the fabric of reality. It was a nexus that called forth the souls of the damned, he realized. Dread pierced the Striking Scorpion’s heart, he knew in that moment that he was not ready for the sacrifice he had made. The irresistible call of the nexus tugged on his soul, still chained into the hidden chamber within him. Erathion struggled and fought in vain, but the more he writhed, the more control he lost.

The invisible chain snapped and his soul was whisked into realms beyond reality.

Erathion’s immortal soul cried out in fear, surrounded by a maelstrom of chitterling voices and the half-materialized forms of demons. They observed him greedily. None of them came forth, however, or dared to touch his spirit. They appeared content to merely frighten and whisper to him. At first, he believed he would be stuck here forever, floating through the warp. When hope began to fade from his pure spirit, a bright pinpoint of white light shined in the distance.

The bright light began to swell into a great gate. The endless demon tide appeared to shrink and convulse from the gate’s holy power. Hope swelled in Erathion’s chest once more as he embraced the light and vanished with a massive thunder clap.

As he traveled between worlds, Erathion realized he was no longer a physical entity.

The first realm that he arrived in was a great, charred plain that burst with fires and volcanic eruptions. Within the span of mere moments, Erathion witnessed the ruins of great civilizations. He observed the predecessors of mortals long wiped from this plane eek out an existence as primitive tribes. Great fortresses of blood and brass were erected atop great hills and in the charred mountains that overlooked the fire world below. This world belonged to the Blood God.

He became teleported to another realm before he could really understand what was happening.

The next world was a beautiful maiden realm, filled with exotic forests and jungles. A civilization that dwelled in this paradise were beautiful beyond words and bore remarkable resemblance to the eldar. Erathion watched from the skies above massive battles between these exodites and the twisted fiends of Nurgle. A great host of enraged forest spirits fought beside his primitive cousins. Never before did Erathion feel the call to battle for others aside from his own craftworld, but this… this was an exception.

Then everything turned into a haze of bluish-white light. Thunder bristled from everywhere as if Erathion were in the very clouds himself. Lightning flashed perilously close to his soul. When the first bolt hit him square in the chest and blew him apart, he knew for a split second that he was partially physical again. He was dead for mere moments before his soul recollected itself. When Erathion was reborn, all he could manage was to cry out in agony.

Then the second bolt hit him.

Another hit him the third time. He finally asked why this was happening, but there was no answer.

The process continued for an eternity, Erathion had no way to count the days, months, or years. Each time his soul was pulverized by lightning, it recollected itself and became something stronger, harder, and more physical. It was not long until Erathion’s body had returned in a shape that he did not recognize. It was only then that the lightning stopped.

“Erathion of the eldar, you are chosen for a purpose far higher than the likes you ever seen or imagined. The threat of chaos holds sway over the mortal realms. I am Sigmar and I intend to defeat the Dark Gods forever. You shall help me achieve this task, so that the mortal races may forever know peace.”

“Sigmar?” Erathion cried, mortified. “By Asuryan, the eldar are doomed if the emperor has returned!”

“There is no emperor, Erathion, only the Gods of the eight realms. It is time. Rise as a Stormcast Eternal!”

Erathion desired to ask what it was that Sigmar meant, but he became banished with a brilliant rolling thunder and a wave of light. When he awoke next, he discovered himself clasped in golden armor of a make that defied mortal limits. In his hands was a great hammer and shield. Beside him, rank after rank of the Stormcast Eternals awaited in a chamber wreathed in a celestial mist.

Erathion spoke aloud. Heads craned in his direction. “Khaine’s blood, where am I?”

A voice echoed over the thunder in the chamber. “Hammers of Sigmar! To the Gates of Azyr!”

Another wave of light overtook the entire war host. Nothing remained.
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What you don't see will harm you

What you don't see will harm you
(1079 words)​

With those two words a man was condemned to death.
Without another thought, Abel Horgan, Planetary Governor and ultimate arbitrator over life and death on the planet, breathed on the gene-reader and sealed the fate of a forgotten man for a forgotten crime.

He looked up from his desk and sneered at his assembled lackeys and sycophants. Preon fashion dictated that government officials wear judicial wigs and powdered their faces white on public duties. He detested the practice, likening them to walking corpses.

Oh yes, he thought, your time will come.

“That is positively the last duty I perform today..” A blue-robed Administrum sector procurator raised a wavering hand.
“My Lord, the Imperial tithes…”
“No,” Horgan interrupted. “They can wait,” he turned to a Canon of the Ministorium, “and so can your sermons.”
He stood abruptly causing a minor ripple through the gathered throng, who were all forced to go down on one knee. He tuned to an army officer at the far end of the room who was wearing the crimson and blue of his Praetorian Guard.
“Colonel Durcáin. I will be in my personal quarters. I do not wish to be disturbed unless the Emperor himself comes knocking.”
The gathered officials muttered as they were lead out.

Horgan’s quarters were on the uppermost tier of the Imperial Palace. Glale Hive spread out before him in a brown and grey stain. He spat contemptuously as if the sight of it disgusted him. He downed the glass of Amsec and slammed the crystal glass down, venting some hidden fury.

“My love, is that you?”, came a soft voice.
Horgan tuned as a tall female glided into his chambers.
“Katherine,” he stuttered. “How did you get in here?”

His concubine looked as resplendent as ever.
She was wearing a gown of the purest Lugraria silk that was almost see-through, leaving nothing to the imagination. Low-cut at the front, it accentuated her ample cleavage. Her long blonde hair hung in waves down onto her neck. She looked at him through those deep penetrating green eyes and pursed her red lips.
Immediately, as he always did in her presence, he began to relax, followed by a feeling of growing excitement.
She was close now, he could smell her and feel her breath on his neck.

“Don’t be angry my love, I sneaked in when the cleaning servitors were not looking.”
Highly unlikely, he thought.
“I shall have them all mind scrubbed and then…”
“They do not matter,” she soothed, and placed a tiny kiss on his ear.

Hogan backed away slightly. Katherine was good for him. She helped him through difficult times, she calmed him down, but he did not need her tonight.
He did not for the love of him, know why or how he had managed to attract such a beauty, but at this time.. this time of change, she came into his life and all seemed good.

“The dinner..” he whispered.
“Yes the annual Mercatores Dinner was where we met.”
“I love you.” He blurted.

Katherine stroked his shoulder.
“Are you leaving me again tonight?” She purred.
Hogan coughed and then pulled slowly away from her. She smiled back.
“Just one of those meetings, with my friends and away from prying eyes. Cards, yes it is cards tonight.” He almost sounded convincing.
Katherine dropped her head slightly and then looked back up.
“I will be waiting for you to come back.”

* * *​

Hogan left by a secret door behind the main throne room, and used a mag-lift to take him to the lower levels. A non-descript door lead him out into a covered street. He was met by Colonel Durcáin and a small squad of trusted men.
“Never my lord.”

* * *​

The meeting place was a small deconsecrated chapel in the Riverecords District, a long way away from prying eyes and the centre of government. It was not a place a Planetary Governor would ever be seen dead in, but needs must. This meeting was vital for the future of his planet.

The entrance, a large arched door was guarded by stim-bulked gang-types. With a nod from Durcáin, they stepped aside and back into the shadows.
Immediately, and without warrant, Hogan felt a slight chill of fear. As if sensing his unease his bodyguard moved in closer.

The door opened without a sign and the group moved in.

It was dark by any standards, but in the distance was the glow from a fire. Hogan was aware that there were silent seated figures in the pews on either side of him. They gave off a musty smell but made no noise. As the room opened up Hogan could see a long table and behind that was a blazing fire. Above the fire was a large round sigil, but he could not tell what it was. As he tried to read it his head began to pound and he felt faint.
He noticed the tall figure sat at the head of the table.

“Ah,” the figure hissed. “The prodigal son has arrived.”
His bodyguard stopped and advanced no further. Hogan gave them a confused look but carried on.
The figure stood and Hogan momentarily halted, such was his confusion.
The figure was robed and hunched over.

“This is dangerous.” Hogan began, subconsciously looking right and left.
“Your new master does not fear this Imperium.”
Hogan threw a package onto the table.
“The codes you required. This will enable you to take over with little effort.” He placed a hand on the package. “My position remains.”
“Of course,” the voice hissed. “A new order will rise and drive your corpse God out.”
Hogan laughed.
“A risk…”. He felt lightheaded and almost swooned. The robed figure caught him before he fell.
“I do not know what became of me.” He stuttered.
“All is well,” the voice whispered, the hiss gone, “... Abel Hogan.”

Hogan froze. Confused.

Green eyes gazed back. A towering figure stepped into the light next to the voice, a great warrior in grey power armour wielding a long bladed polearm.
The robe fell. It was Katherine, but she was wearing a black body glove. Her face twitched and changed before his very eyes. No longer beautiful, but now stern and unforgiving.

“Inquisitor Jacolien Vulker actually. You traitor. Did you honestly think that one such as I would fall for a beast like you. I name you Proditor ad Imperium and your life is now forfeit.. Abel, my love.”

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Confusion at the End of the World

Confusion at the End of the World
1098 words

Original Universe of J.D. Barbera

Always forward, never back. The mantra went on and on as the men marched on through biting cold and freezing rain that simply could not bring itself to snow. Men had started falling out not long after the meal break. The road was now littered with not only the broken or abandoned carts or wheelbarrows, but the broken remains of the army that force marched itself down it. By one and twos, the formations had stragglers who would finally fall to the edge of the road to either shuffle as best they could or collapse in an insensate heap.

The headlong retreat seemed for naught though. As the road funneled the army down into a deep ravine, all along the ridgeline deep clouds gathered. An inexplicably hot wind found its way into the ravine and kicking sand into the faces of the soldiers at the forefront. The end came in the form of lightning. Hundreds of soldiers fell to the ground as great flashes of lightning raced through the ravine, and not from the angry sky but along the road itself impaling the lines of soldiers like kabobs readying for the grill before vanishing and those missed were forced to endure the thunderclap that shook the ground and wall, bringing mud and stone down from above.

You stagger about. Lucky as you are, the lightning missed you. Pain and blood mix with the rain and debris that falls from above, gifting you a cut ear. Disoriented and with a body throbbing with the concussion of the thunderclap, you fight to maintain your footing. As you take in the odd carnage, you struggle to comprehend that where the road lead through the hidden ravine. a round hole portrays an odd juxtaposed scene to the dark cataclysmic hell that surrounds it. The biting cold returns with a vengeance, as the hot wind that heralded the lightning fades with the echoes of the thunder.

Bright sun shines like an overpowering searchlight through the round hole. The ravine on the other side of the hole is manicured and unimaginably beautiful as the road is lined with ferns and wild flowers. Looking around you, no one notices the sunlight shining impossibly onto the night shrouded road. Hesitantly, you step closer. Through the hole you can see the road rising up out of the ravine and relief fills you as you know the end of the road is near, but barreling towards you and your unit, a small pickup of unknown design jostles down the road, it’s occupants gesticulating wildly at the hole before them. The air is warm and the wind blows the scent of wildflowers to you, taking away the smell of burnt ozone. The kaleidoscope of images vanishes in a second explosion that knocks you from your feet and another bolt of lightning impossibly strikes twice.

As you pull yourself to your feet, the hole is gone. The few stragglers who survived the first strike have been taken by the second. The ravine is dark again for the hole vanished when the oncoming vehicle drove through. Wind and rain seem to recoil from the unexpected arrival and an odd silence descends, broken only by the soft purr of the unfamiliar truck. Dazed, your feet carry you to the newcomers. Stopping a few strides from the vehicle, you can only stupidly gape. A door opens and the dome light reveals four passengers in the duel bench seated truck. Two men and two women.

An impossibly tall woman unfolds herself from the backseat of the truck. Towering above you, her features are lost to the night, but it is the strange device that is in her hand that holds your attention. A soft blue glow casts her face in bas relief and you find yourself caught by the dark voids that hide her eyes. Pointing the small device at you, it changes from blue to green almost immediately.

“I”ll be damned. It’s a runner”, she calls back to the others in the truck. As if it was some sort of signal, the others step out of the truck. The four gather before you, their features shrouded by the darkness, as well as any army or unit markers. They all wear the same knee length trenchcoats, black in the dark night, even with the soft glow of the dome light shining around them.

The men are shorter than the tall woman who still towers above you, but the other woman is tiny by comparison, only coming up to your chin. The men bookend the women, both broad and fit, the coats hideing all but their bulk. The shorter of the two men, still taller than you, breaks the tableau

“John, Jo, Zoe, Paul”, the man indicates himself, the women, and the man to your right. You know you should give your own, but shock has stolen your voice and whatever look is upon your face seems to give them the answer they expect, for they seem to take no offense at your silence.

“Behold, the Lord provides, as I said He would,” Jo’s breathy voice emphasized her words. “My name is Joanna, runner.”

“But you can call her Jo.” The one John indicated as Paul finishes for her with a chuckle.

“I'm not yellow.” Your tongue finds its voice. The non sequitur brings an odd pause as the four exchange a glance.

“No. You misunderstand,” John is the first to speak. “No one is calling you a coward. A runner is a special person who not only survives the destruction of their world, but can open portals to others.”

There is a pause before John continues.

"You are fighting a war, right?" A rhetorical question and you nod in agreement. "That war will destroy this world."

"Know what a nuke is?" Zoe interrupts John.

"Yes," you answer slowly.

"Well, if you weren't a Runner, you'd die like everyone else here. Instead, you'll have the chance to come with us. You see, those bombs are going to go off soon. Someone is going to realize that they're gonna to lose. Rather than take that defeat they're gonna to take it to the next level and nuke'em till they glow."

"And the world ends," Joanna finishes. "You're not running from danger. You're running from the end of the world. Each decision has potentially multiple outcomes, right? Well, each outcome happens. A normal lives with their decision. A Runner can move from the world of one decision to another."

"Got it? 'Cuz we're running out of time to get off this line and you're out ticket out."
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Ooooo. Ok.

Finally got mine posted and can read the earlier ones. :grin:

Myen, love the Dante reference! As well as Elysium's, if my memory is right. Shame you didn't have room for a good view of the Happy Hunting Ground and a successful Ghost Dance, but...

Emund, that is so right out of the park. :good: That's a hell of a bar you've set - and if I had broken my rule and read here before writing my own, I'd of just given up and not posted. :cray:
Ooooo. Ok.

Finally got mine posted and can read the earlier ones. :grin:

Myen, love the Dante reference! As well as Elysium's, if my memory is right. Shame you didn't have room for a good view of the Happy Hunting Ground and a successful Ghost Dance, but...

Emund, that is so right out of the park. :good: That's a hell of a bar you've set - and if I had broken my rule and read here before writing my own, I'd of just given up and not posted. :cray:
Hey Treesnifer, I think everyone usually waits for the voting thread before discussing the entries. Thanks for the comment though. I'm a little embarrassed because I don't know the Dante reference you were referring to. The main character is being transported from the 40k realm into the new Age of Sigmar one:).
Ah. Ok. I was going by Dave's invitation up in the instructions to throw comments in to try and spice things up. I was thinking it was a bit stuffy here in the competition thread, and thought I could at least...stir it up. ;)

And it was the City of Brass fly-by that reminded me of Dante's Inferno. In D&D the City of Brass is the first plane of the Nine Hells and is the mythical home of evil Genies (The Djinn).
Yeah, I'm familiar with the D&D city of brass. But the Dante's Inferno one was unintentional :p, much of the inspiration for this story was pulled from the Gates of Azryr or Age of Sigmar book. I'll keep that information in mind, though, sounds interesting :wink:.
Alive and Feeling Good!

Alive and feeling good!

I know that I was afraid and that it was dark. I felt the air around me so keenly, smelled the rain as it mixed with the grass and dirt and fell upon the trees. The storm that raged left lightning scars on the retinas and raged in the mind as that of a great beast with its thunderous voice. I lay on the ground with slashes across my face and chest. I shivered both from the cold and the pain that I was in. I could barely take in a breath. My lungs and body were on fire. What had I done to deserve this? Where had the beast come from? I had never seen anything like it before and prayed that I would never see anything like it again.

I was walking in the storm trying to make my way back to my hab when the beast attacked me. It hit me with so much power that I blacked out. It thundered into my body without fear and without remorse. I do not know why it did not kill me, but I wish that it had. Pain! It is all that I know now as I lay on my back coughing blood and begging for death.

I hear footsteps coming from what seems a long way distant. I try to call out for help but words escape me. I am sure I am dying. Voices are all around me in confusing tones. They are calling out for help and praying to the Emperor of mankind. Hands grasp me and set my nerves to screaming even more than they were. I pass out and wake again in flashes.

There are lights and then there is darkness. There are voices and than the beeping of monitors. There is the dripping of water and then the rush of wind. I flash in and out of consciousness unable to put reason together with reason. My thoughts are muddled. It seems that only minutes pass but I am told when I wake that five days have passed and that I am blessed by the Emperor of mankind to still be alive. I do not think I am blessed. I do not feel blessed. I am in pain and fire seems to be pushing through my veins. Two days later I am walking out of the madica under my own power with barely a scar to show for my pain. The doktors are amazed and terrified. They say they have never before seen a miracle and are sure the Emperor has healed me.

I am not so sure. Inside of me I feel … changed. Three more days pass and I am feeling stronger than I ever have. I no longer need optics or hearing aid. I see better than young men and hear better than the dog I love. I smell things. Scents flood my olfactory processes. I catch fragrances from the breeze that blows by. I cannot see the owner of the perfume but with an effort of will I can follow the scent for a klom or two and, well, there she is; a young blond woman looking into the window of a clothing store. Food has a better texture. I am starting to believe that I am indeed blessed.
Two weeks pass. I am running in the morning. In the last few days I have taken up the exercise. I feel good and am able to run for twenty kloms without growing tired. Something is strange today. I can feel the earth around me like never before. I hear people talking from half a klom away. I can hear the heartbeats of people as they pass by. I can hear each surge of blood that is pushed through their veins. This is strange to me and a little frightening. When I get home my dog begins to growl and backs away from me with his neck hair raised and back rigid. “Come on, boy.” I call, but he barks once and runs into the other room, but not before he pees on the carpet. I am astonished and confused at the actions of my beloved pet.

I have showered. The water, every drop of it was a paradise to me. I felt the slap of each drop upon my skin hot and bold against my muscles. I went about the rest of my day doing work around the hab and helping out a neighbor with painting and yard work. She is old and tired. I can smell death upon her. She is sick. I do not think she knows, but she will die within a month or two. I know it, but I still help her, unwilling to torment her with the thoughts of mortality.

The sun is setting and with its descent the darkness begins to invade. Shadows grow longer and deeper. Stars begin to appear. I can feel it now, stronger than before. Since the attack I have always felt it but timidly like a light touch upon the mind. I can hear it calling out to me strong and violent. I look up and see the moon, full and in all its luminous glory. My blood quickens and my mind is cast into utter confusion as I fall to my knees and begin to scream. My skin tears. My face twists. My hands and feet elongate and shred the humanity from them. My chest expands and flesh falls from it along with my blood-soaked shirt. My pants split and blood pours from them staining the floor and filling the cracks in the wood slat floor.

As the pain recedes so does my confusion. Clarity of purpose and desire floods my mind. I stand and howl. My voice is all animal. I see through the dark as if it were the clearest day and begin to run. I can smell her, the young woman I scented three weeks ago. Her scent is strong and so are her heartbeats. I find her walking in the shadows of the habs to the east. She sees me and tries to scream but the blood is spraying across the walls and the world is alight with fear. I run and kill all night long. I feast upon blood and flesh. I am alive, all confusion gone. The wolf is loose and I am free to feast upon the weak.

In a medica, in a clean bed; washed from all the blood and filth a doktor smiles down at the blond woman whose scars are already beginning to heal.

1,100 words including title
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Wow Adrian... you sneeked that one in! :grin:


Wow Adrian... you sneeked that one in! :grin:

That's how I roll, Brother. lol

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